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MEXICAN SUMMER

Iceage

Seek Shelter

    With each new release, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth and Dan Kjær Nielsen refigure the contours of a typical Iceage song. This is especially true of Seek Shelter, their fifth LP and first for Mexican Summer. Enrolling Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) to produce the record and an additional guitarist in the form of Casper Morilla Fernandez, Seek Shelter sees Iceage’s propulsive momentum pushing them in new, expansive, ecstatic directions. A decade on from their first record, Iceage continue to harness their lives together through music. This journey, in music and life, has never progressed in a linear fashion.

    Seek Shelter is the sound of a tight emotional core unwound. Rain dripped through cracks in the ceiling of Namouche, the dilapidated wood-panelled Lisbon radio studio of a 1960s vintage where the band set up for 12 days. The band had to arrange their equipment around puddles. Pieces of cloth covered slowly filling buckets so that the sound of raindrops wouldn’t reach the microphones. Kember arranged garden lamps from a nearby party store for mood lighting in the high-ceiling space. It was the longest time Iceage have ever spent making an album. When the rain had stopped, Seek Shelter revealed itself as a collection of songs radiating warmth and a profound desire for salvation in a world that’s spinning further and further out of control.

    Iceage started making music together in 2008 as young teens in their hometown of Copenhagen. The band’s 2011 debut New Brigade, crystallized the raucous energy and unbreakable brotherhood of Danish teenagers weaned on post-punk, hardcore and no wave, and it found ears and kin around the world. 2012’s You’re Nothing was hard, fast and raw, a bold doubling-down on the aggression of youth in the first record as well as the weight of expectation. Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014) and Beyondless (2018) saw a softening of the band’s hardest edges and the arrival of a certain world-weary vaudeville in the Iceage sound. In an extraordinary and unexpected run, the band had gone from the fertile hyperlocal Copenhagen scene to stages all over the world. Iceage’s past two records — all filtered twangy guitar riffs, sparse piano arrangements, and slinky, slow-moving rhythms — ventured into an intoxicated but knowing swirl, surveying the party at the end of the night. They’d seen it all, at least once, and their music rode the crest of that chaos.

    Seek Shelter, the band’s first record made with an outside producer brought in alongside longtime collaborator Nis Bysted, is the place they have been called to next. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt casts the influence of producer Sonic Boom as that of a sparring partner, another wayward mind to bounce ideas off of and another pair of hands (along with Shawn Everett, who mixed the record) to help shape the sound. Kember had said in an interview that he’d like to produce for the band, and the feeling was mutual. Rønnenfelt recalls being 12 or 13, listening to Spacemen 3, the band Kember co-founded in 1982 at the age of 16. “It was one of those things that just reverberated with my being,” he explains. For Seek Shelter, “we wanted a partner that had some noise that we didn’t have, more a wizard than a producer. We thought he’d be that kind of wizard for us, and we were right — he came in with a truckload of strange equipment that we’d never seen before.” Kember, reflecting on the session and reaching for his highest praise, describes Iceage as “fucking show offs, like everyone who was ever great and emotional and honest.”

    For Seek Shelter’s story of scorched-earth salvation, the band’s songwriting embraces conventional structures more conspicuously than it has in the past. The dirge-like drone that opens the record gives way to a wall of reverb that sounds fuller and brighter than anything they've committed to tape, signalling a clarity of clouds breaking. American gospel and blues signatures break to the front of the slow-grooving “Vendetta” and harmonica-flecked “Gold City,” a record which sounds like the road, a desert mission under a blazing sun. The Lisboa Gospel Collective, who joined the band for two tracks on the final day in the studio, provide a new scale to Rønnenfelt’s incantations. There are moments of unvarnished romanticism, as on the brisk Jacques Brel-like “Drink Rain,” and an overcast tenderness that gently glides over “Love Kills Slowly.” The massive “High & Hurt” interpolates “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a warhorse of the American religious vernacular that has become an increasingly urgent plea over the past century. It’s not the only anthem that calls out to the heavens: later on, Rønnenfelt invokes the patron saint of music and poetry on “Dear Saint Cecilia,” a song for seekers everywhere. “Writing a song is like trying to find a space where you can make something that’s been riled up and down through the years feel like it belongs to your present moment,” says Rønnenfelt. “It’s all just scaffolding that you can project something onto.”

    Rønnenfelt’s lyricism reaches grand heights despite its classic opacity — he sings of taking shelter, of tranquil affections that threaten to combust, and of a limp-wristed god with a cavalcade of devotees in search of relief. His expressionist imagery consistently hinges on the divine, a natural result of his desire to take a kernel of ordinary emotion and, as he explains, “blow it up like a balloon.” For Seek Shelter, as with all Iceage’s previous albums, Rønnenfelt stowed away for a set period of weeks and wrote the lyrics in one shot. “I set a time just to make sure that all the lyrics are written from the same mindset,” he explains of these weeks alone. The lyrics stem from journals that he’s kept over the past few years: “it becomes an amalgamation of ideas and impressions of things that you’ve been provoked by or had to live through. You end up with something that is a rough, blurry perspective of what that period of time was like, a mishmash of personal struggle that is shaded throughout by a world that seems more transparent in its inherently cruel ways.” Romance and desire, as described in “Love Kills Slowly” and the album closer “The Holding Hand,” are feelings that stretch torturously — a race without a finish line.

    What precisely makes an Iceage song is still a mysterious thing, and the band wishes to maintain this protean quality. “If there’s ever a point in our history when something in the songs starts to seem easy but doesn’t really excite us that much, we just discard that shit right away,” he says. “You’ve always got to find a new vantage point to attack the assignment of writing a song. If we had a formula, it would be just a continuous watering down of what we do until we hated ourselves and quit.” With Seek Shelter, they’ve managed to hold onto this core of presence and risk while writing their most ambitious songs. Even Rønnenfelt was surprised with what they were able to create together. “I think when we started we were just lashing out completely blindfolded with no idea as to why we were doing anything.” He’s speaking of the new record and also of their entire existence as a band, a travelogue that has catapulted these four friends far past the horizons of punk. “Some of that we wanted to remain intact. We try to keep the mystery. If there's no sense of mystery in it for us, then it's not fun.” Seek Shelter is a record that now exists at a moment of a collective unknown, when every beating heart wonders what will happens next.


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Shelter Song
    2. High & Hurt
    3. Love Kills Slowly
    4. Vendetta
    5. Drink Rain

    Side B
    6. Gold City
    7. Dear Saint Cecilia
    8. The Wider Powder Blue
    9. The Holding Hand

    Weyes Blood

    Cardamom Times - Reissue

      After an overwhelming response to the fifth anniversary edition of Cardamom Times in 2020, Weyes Blood’s (Natalie Mering) warm, elegiac early career record manifests once again in 2021 as an Indie Exclusive Edition on transparent light blue vinyl with purple and maroon splatter, only available from the artist and at independent retail worldwide. The reimagined cover art for Cardamom Times transports the viewer to a desolate, urban paradise during sunset — Jamaica Bay in Queens, New York. A couple is laying on the ground, caught in a comfort beyond time while surrounded by a rusting reality. Since the EP’s release, Weyes Blood’s Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer, 2016) and Titanic Rising (Sub Pop, 2019) were both named Best New Albums by Pitchfork, with the latter making multiple Best Albums of 2019 lists, including The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Independent.

      Different from these elaborate albums, Cardamom Times was recorded onto reel-to-reel tape at Mering’s home studio in Rockaway Beach, New York. The songs of Cardamom Times demonstrate Mering’s reverence of devotional music and the avant-garde, channeling the domestic hymns of Sybille Baer through the lens of Baltimore’s experimental DIY scene; the minimal, melodic drones of Terry Riley accompanied by the voices of the Sacre Coeur; the confrontational words of Anaïs Nin along with the warm embrace of St. Augustine. With Cardamom Times, Mering invites listeners into that space of love and longing, struggle and change, surrounded by the decay of time that perpetually embraces us.

      TRACK LISTING

      A1. Maybe Love
      A2. Take You There
      B1. Cardamom
      B2. In The Beginning

      Geneva Jacuzzi

      Lamaze - Reissue

        Lamaze is Geneva Jacuzzi’s 2010 debut—a full-length pressing of analog 4- track and 8-track recordings that document the development of her musical style from her first appearance in 2004 up to 2009. It is a selective introduction gleaned from a body of over 200 recorded tracks. The recordings from this period are largely synth pop songs that are typical minimalist constructions with dance floor tempos. Use of experimental recording techniques and varying arrays of equipment produce differing electronic atmospheres—soundcrafting in the spirit of Chrome, Devo, Cabaret Voltaire, and Gina-X. 

        There is also an exploration of format in her playful use of alternating theatrical interludes and instrumental treatments. Lamaze is essentially a collection of demos, which is an atypical debut, but it is among the first lo-fi pop recordings that became the lexicon of the emerging music frontier, today’s “hypnagogic” jukebox—chillwave, bedroom pop, witch house, vaporwave, and more. The sound of the future, but the present of Lamaze is a world that has vanished. The collection is venerated as canon among her devotees and has become a coveted relic among fans and collectors of pop artifacts and rarities.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Do I Sad?
        2. Clothes On The Bed
        3. Nonsense Nonsense
        4. Love Stories
        5. Love Caboose
        6. Group Dynamic
        7. Future Past
        8. Bad Moods
        9. Runaway DNA
        10. Holograph
        11. Sandtrap
        12. Greek Ambassador
        13. Relay Racer
        14. Gray Wave City
        15. Zombie Shark

        Jack Name

        Magic Touch

          "His songs sound like memories, as familiar as they are foreign. I’m addicted to this record.” - Cate Le Bon. In a time rife with alienation, Magic Touch, the third album by the ubiquitous and mysterious Jack Name, offers the comfort of contact. With a body of work that ranges from the catchy to the cacophonous, Name has earned the reputation of a musician who’s difficult to define. For over a decade, he’s been a fixture in the Los Angeles underground. His songs have appeared on albums by U.S. Girls (Heavy Light, 2020) and White Fence (Family Perfume, 2012); he’s produced recordings for Cass McCombs and collaborated with Ariel Pink; and his experimental music has been performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

          Magic Touch reveals yet another side of Jack Name. While it’s every bit as intricate as his previous releases, 2014’s Light Show and 2015’s Weird Moons, here he’s done away with the dense production of his earlier work to make a record that feels stark, personal, and effortlessly natural. With Magic Touch, Name brings his lyrical and conceptual focus away from the dream worlds of his first two albums and back to Earth: a simpler place, or so it seems, where humans are falling in and out of love, struggling with loneliness, reaching for connections to each other, and, for better or worse, affecting each other. In a year like 2020, it’s a place that feels familiar and far away all at once. The almost subliminal story arc of Magic Touch reminds us that touch itself is magic.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Karolina
          2. Do You Know Ida No?
          3. Having A Good Time
          4. A Moving-on Blues
          5. I Came To Tell You In Plain English
          6. Dudette
          7. Losing My Way
          8. Empty Nights
          9. Kick-around Johnny
          10. Sacred Place

          Weyes Blood

          Cardamom Times - 5th Anniversary Edition

            • On vinyl for the first time since its first sold-out pressing in 2015, the fifth anniversary of Weyes Blood’s (Natalie Mering) warm and elegiac record, Cardamom Times, is celebrated with a deluxe Dinked edition.

            • Since the EP’s release, Weyes Blood’s Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer, 2016) and Titanic Rising (Sub Pop, 2019) were both named Best New Albums by Pitchfork, with the latter making multiple Best Albums of 2019 lists, including The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Independent. Different from these elaborate albums, Cardamom Times was recorded onto reel-to-reel tape at Mering’s home studio in Rockaway Beach, New York.

            • The songs of Cardamom Times demonstrate Mering’s reverence of devotional music and the avant-garde, channeling the domestic hymns of Sybille Baer through the lens of Baltimore’s experimental DIY scene; the minimal, melodic drones of Terry Riley accompanied by the voices of the Sacre Coeur; the confrontational words of Anaïs Nin along with the warm embrace of St. Augustine.

            • This anniversary edition of Cardamom Times features reimagined cover art with the focal image of a desolate paradise during sunset — Jamaica Bay in Queens, NY surrounded by rust. A couple is laying on the ground, caught in a comfort beyond time. With Cardamom Times, Mering invites listeners into that space of love and longing, struggle and change, surrounded by the decay of time that perpetually embraces us.


            TRACK LISTING

            01. Maybe Love
            02. Take You There
            03. Cardamom
            04. In The Beginning

            Photay

            Waking Hours

              It's 2020, and everyone is exhausted. The world is falling apart, and then there's the day-today stress of just existing in the modern world. Keeping up with everything feels impossible, and we all feel that neverending push to always be productive, inspiration and motivation be damned. For NYC artist Photay (a.k.a. Evan Shornstein), none of this is particularly conducive to living a healthy existence, let alone being creative, but he's decided to face it head on.

              Waking Hours, his second full-length (following 2017's Onism), is a meditation on time and, more specifically, our obsessive need to fill every moment with activity. "It's about getting back to a really simple notion of just celebrating your existence and not necessarily attaching this huge story of who you are and what you do," he says. "It's about finding comfort in just being." Photay's search for calm is at the very core of Waking Hours, and while he admits that making the album was therapeutic, it shouldn't be mistaken for some sort of healing ambient excursion.

              The LP is largely electronic, but frequently verges on pop and extensively features Shornstein's own vocals. The music is intimate and inviting, but it also suggests that Photay is perhaps at his best when he's blurring genre boundaries. "I really truly love so many different types of music," he says, "and for this album I opened things up and gave myself the freedom to go anywhere."

              TRACK LISTING

              SIDE A
              1. Existential Celebration
              2. Warmth In The Coldest Acre
              3. Is It Right?
              4. Fanfare For 7.83 Hz
              5. Change In Real Time

              SIDE B

              1. The People
              2. Rhythm Research
              3. Pressure
              4. EST
              5. A Beautiful Silence Prevails

              Paint

              Spiritual Vegas

                Having first made his mark as a songwriter and guitarist for Los Angeles’ Allah-Las, Pedrum Siadatian has etched out a place of his own with his solo work as PAINT. What started as modest 4-track experiments quickly took on a life of their own as Pedrum began distilling his musical and lyrical inspirations into something both timeless and new. His miniature menagerie of light-psych and proto-punk gems had outgrown their cassette cage and were now ready to be heard.

                PAINT’s eponymous debut (Mexican Summer, 2018) appeared out of the ether, fully formed. It was praised for its originality and drew favorable comparisons to the likes of Kevin Ayers, Lou Reed and Julian Cope. The mess was the message and the decidedly mid-fi production found Siadatian both honoring and eschewing tradition. The album was accompanied by videos for the singles “Daily Gazette” and “Moldy Man,” both directed by Sam Kristofski (Connan Mockasin, Pond), with select performances in North America, UK, and Europe.

                This year sees PAINT returning with the release of the ambitious Spiritual Vegas. While Ray Davies-smirks and Kevin Ayers-wit abound, Siadatian’s singular touch is unmistakable. Joined once again by producer / engineer Frank Maston at the helm, Spiritual Vegas features a rogue’s gallery of players with performances by Jackson Macintosh (TOPS, Sheer Agony) on bass and guitar, Nick Murray (White Fence, Oh Sees) on drums, and brothers-in-Las Spencer Dunham and Matt Correia on bass and percussion respectively.

                The production is a clear departure from PAINT’s debut- with an increased clarity and tonal variety, drawing inspiration from 80’s/90’s art-rock like The Meat Puppets and The Magnetic Fields.

                “Ta Fardah” (Til Tomorrow) is an early standout. Sung in Farsi, a nod to Siadatian’s Iranian heritage, it’s a crate digger’s dream — channeling 70’s Persian funk melodrama that might have been a nightclub dancefloor hit in pre-revolution Tehran. On “Landman” we hear Siadatian protest all things aquatic, despite social pressures to the contrary. He sings “I’m no Toucan Sam-man, in some guitar jam band” on this Kinks-y ode to land-locked life, complete with “bah bah bah” harmonies and a tropical marimba line.

                The record closes with the minimalist jazz of “Impressions.” It centers on a moody keyboard figure as lazy jazz guitar, sax, and flute solos weave in and out. Both melancholy and triumphant, “Impressions” is a fitting end to an album that explores both feelings and posits they might actually be the same.

                The title Spiritual Vegas was inspired by a visit to Bali, Indonesia, where Siadatian was struck by the juxtaposition of tourists seeking either Instagram enlightenment or Vegas-like debauchery. Is there really a difference? Awakening comes in many forms and as Siadatian intones on opener “Strange World,” “the moment you find laughter’s the key/ the sooner you’ll be free” — a fortune cookie philosophy for both the record and the world at large.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Paint are an entrancing proposition, a mid-heavy juxtaposition of psychedelic jangling and hypnotic repetitive art-rock. Brilliantly absorbing, and comfortingly odd.

                TRACK LISTING

                1 Intro (Phor Phaedra)
                2 Strange World
                3 Grape St.
                4 Lanolin
                5 Flying Fox
                6 Ta Fardah
                7 Why Not, Tick Tock?
                8 Meet Me (In St. Lucia)
                9 Land Man
                10 Tongue Tied
                11 Ballad Of Adelaide
                12 Well Of Memory/ODAAT
                13 Impressions
                14 Outro (The Lines I Drew)

                Ariel Pink

                Worn Copy

                  Ariel Archives is a comprehensive series of reissues and retrospective collections concentrating on the treasure trove of material recorded and released by Ariel Pink as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Ariel Archives Cycle 2 is comprised of The Doldrums, Worn Copy and House Arrest - representing Ariel Pink’s most classic recordings as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, the name used for his one-man recording venture between 1999 – 2004. Each release has been restored from the original cassette masters, which have been retransferred and remastered from single-track sources. The first volume of Ariel Archives featured new editions of Loverboy and Underground, plus a long-awaited follow up volume of rare and unheard tracks titled Oddities Sodomies Vol. 2.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  SIDE A
                  1. Trepanated Earth
                  2. Immune To Emotion
                  3. Jules Lost His Jewels

                  SIDE B
                  1. Artifact
                  2. Bloody (Bagonia's)
                  3. Credit
                  4. Life In L.A.
                  5. The Drummer

                  SIDE C
                  1. Cable Access Follies
                  2. Creepshow
                  3. One On One
                  4. Oblivious Peninsula
                  5. Somewhere In Europe / Hotpink!

                  SIDE D
                  1. Thespian City
                  2. Crybaby
                  3. Foilly Foibles/GOLD
                  4. Jagged Carnival Tours

                  Ariel Pink

                  House Arrest

                    Ariel Archives is a comprehensive series of reissues and retrospective collections concentrating on the treasure trove of material recorded and released by Ariel Pink as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Ariel Archives Cycle 2 is comprised of The Doldrums, Worn Copy and House Arrest - representing Ariel Pink’s most classic recordings as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, the name used for his one-man recording venture between 1999 – 2004. Each release has been restored from the original cassette masters, which have been retransferred and remastered from single-track sources. The first volume of Ariel Archives featured new editions of Loverboy and Underground, plus a long-awaited follow up volume of rare and unheard tracks titled Oddities Sodomies Vol. 2.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    SIDE A
                    1. Hardcore Pops Are Fun
                    2. Interesting Results
                    3. West Coast Calamities
                    4. Flying Circles

                    SIDE B
                    1. Gettin' High In The Morning
                    2. Helen
                    3. Every Night I Die At Miyagi's

                    SIDE C
                    1. House Arrest
                    2. Alisa
                    3. The People I'm Not
                    4. Almost Waiting

                    SIDE D
                    1. Oceans Of Weep
                    2. Netherlands
                    3. Higher And Higher

                    Ariel Pink

                    The Doldrums

                      Ariel Archives is a comprehensive series of reissues and retrospective collections concentrating on the treasure trove of material recorded and released by Ariel Pink as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Ariel Archives Cycle 2 is comprised of The Doldrums, Worn Copy and House Arrest - representing Ariel Pink’s most classic recordings as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, the name used for his one-man recording venture between 1999 – 2004. Each release has been restored from the original cassette masters, which have been retransferred and remastered from single-track sources. The first volume of Ariel Archives featured new editions of Loverboy and Underground, plus a long-awaited follow up volume of rare and unheard tracks titled Oddities Sodomies Vol. 2.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      SIDE A
                      1. Good Kids Make Bad Grown-Ups
                      2. Strange Fires
                      3. Among Dreams
                      4. For Kate I Wait

                      SIDE B
                      1. Haunted Graffiti
                      2. Gray Sunset
                      3. The Doldrums
                      4. Envelopes Another Day

                      SIDE C
                      1. The Ballad Of Bobby Pyn

                      SIDE D
                      1. Don't Think Twice (Love)
                      2. Until The Night Dies
                      3. Crying
                      4. Theme From Unreleased "Claris Gardens"
                      5. Let's Build A Campfire There
                      6. Young Pilot Astray

                      CMON

                      Confusing Mix Of Nations

                        CMON is the new recording project of Josh da Costa and Jamen Whitelock. Even as they established themselves as integral members of New York’s DIY scene with their band Regal Degal, da Costa and Whitelock were acutely aware of how closed off they had become. As Regal Degal mounted its final tour, with clubs pushing their set times earlier and earlier to make space for the DJs who followed da Costa and Whitelock took notes. “We were definitely getting swept further from where we wanted to be and the excitement we wanted to portray,” Whitelock says. “There’s such joy in going out and dancing that was completely missing in a lot of shows, especially in New York. Nobody wants to move, everyone’s too self-conscious. But when you go to the club, everyone’s in it—you just want to dance, and that’s all that matters.”

                        The community potential and the promise of physical liberation that came with dance music spoke loudly to both da Costa and Whitelock, and following the dissolution of Regal Degal, da Costa set up a new life for himself in Los Angeles—a steady relationship, a pet bird, a car —and got down to work with a copy of Ableton. Back in New York, his head spun by DJ Rashad, Whitelock was learning to program, too. They kept their line of communication open, and eventually Whitelock started making the cross-country trek to work and record with his old bandmate. They mined the sound they established with Regal Degal, applying their old band’s heavy atmospherics and melancholy soul to four-on-the-floor rhythm grids and smoothed-out guitar lines, taking production cues from EBM and AOR in equal measure. If Confusing Mix of Nations is a tour of anything, though, it’s not countries so much as psychic spaces.

                        Each of its ten tracks feels like a postcard from an aesthetic territory worth returning to. Opener “Coo” begins with locked-in grooves reminiscent of Drugdealer (for whom da Costa drums) or Mild High Club, until it suddenly gives itself over to a rhythm that’s been chattering away in the back of the track. As da Costa and Whitelock follow its hints, “Coo” suddenly inverts its priorities and sounds like Miami bass all leaned out for Halloween, then calmly returns to the opening groove, the only proof of the excursion an excess of delay on da Costa’s vocal. “Peter Pan” struts like it’s on its way to meet side two of Sandinista! in its verses, then glows with New Romantic shine in the chorus. The pop hooks on “Good to Know” feel like they could set off a festival crowd, but they’re offset by a strange hollow ache at the song’s center—a weird sadness that makes you feel a little bad for dancing to it.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        SIDE A

                        1. Coo
                        2. Good To Know
                        3. Dreamfucking
                        4. Celluloid
                        5. Mindboggling

                        SIDE B

                        1. Peter Pan
                        2. Sam
                        3. Zoo
                        4. Base
                        5. Letdown

                        Dungen

                        Dungen Live

                          Dungen Live is a document of a band playing with and beyond time, passionately reviving a slowly storied history of sound. A captivating ride captured and collaged from two shows in their native Sweden and assembled into one piece of continuous music by producer Matthias Glava. Dungen Live covers all the peaks and valleys, the moments of intuition and inspiration, and the cosmic connectivity between a family of musicians that makes each Dungen show a spiritual shift.

                          The source material for Live was recorded, in late November 2015, at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg and Victoriateatern in Malmö. Joined by Swedish sax deity Jonas Kullhammar (who brought his skills to Allas Sak), these were undoubtedly some massive experiences. Live drops us into moments where Dungen’s right at the edge of the cliff, right at the point where they’re getting out of the time machine to bust into John Anthony’s studio right when Affinity is cutting their album for Vertigo, right at the point where you discover the break on a record that snaps into place over some hip hop track you’ve been listening to for years, and you play it over and over.

                          Entirely instrumental (including a footstompin’ cover of Doug Jerebine’s “Ain’t So Hard to Tell” – check with our buds over at Drag City for the full story on that one), Live showcases what Dungen does best: create a vibe where none existed, build a mood out of circumstance, attack the music with a fan’s soul and a master’s scorching virtuosity. It extends moments out of their catalogue that seemed like they were already explored and breathes new life into them, at times graceful, at others rambunctious, and sometimes a little of both. It stirs memories of when those first import copies of Ta det lungt hit the record store, how we listened in awe and watched the customers turn around, that first shock of awareness, that anxiety over trying to take home what appeared

                          Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox

                          Myths 004

                            As sure as if it had been mapped in the stars, or written in a prophecy buried deep beneath the sands of the Marfa desert, a collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox was always something of an inevitability.

                            Fourth in Mexican Summer’s Myths EP series (and following previous tie-ups between Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods), Myths 004 sees Le Bon and Cox–each a much-revered musical innovator in their own right–finally united.

                            For both artists, Myths 004 signals a change of tack: meticulousness thrown to the wind as spontaneous, jammy tales of firemen and 5p plastic bags, unbrushed hair and shoelessness and makeup-daubed landscapes–all miraculously written and recorded in just one week– roll effortlessly off their cuffs.

                            Though this EP materialises after two individual 2019 album campaigns–Le Bon’s Mercurynominated fifth album Reward, and Cox’s eighth with his band Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (which Le Bon co-produced)–the chronologies are tangled: Myths 004 is in fact a snapshot of the pair’s very first meeting. After years of admiring each other’s work from afar, Cox and Le Bon finally converged on Marfa, Texas in 2018, at Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa Myths music, visual art, and film festival.

                            “Marfa is an extraordinary town,” says Le Bon. “It feels like nothing else exists when you’re in it which is both comforting and unnerving.” In this otherworldly enclave, and with a band of frequent Cate Le Bon co-conspirators on hand to putty the gaps with drums, saxophone, percussion, keys, and additional guitar (Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, and Samur Khouja), the EP was assembled whiplash-quick.

                            “Writing and recording in a week is a tall order - especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon explains. “We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.”

                            Indeed, Myths 004 is wondrous in its variety. On the opening song “Canto!”, Cox dons the illfitting leathers of an ageing biker and urges us to come ride with him, baby. He and Le Bon gaze into one another’s eyes with semi-serious sweetness as tough, wiry guitars stab through the romance.

                            Everything shrinks and softens on the EP’s sole single, the gently melancholic “Secretary,” as Le Bon and Cox spout verse over a mysterious percussive rhythm; perhaps made by miniature cymbals from a mantric parade, perhaps by someone rummaging in the cutlery drawer. Together, they combat the office humdrum of filing, answering the phone, and eating “the same old plastic lunch” with a surreal and beautiful daydream of “mascara brushed across the plains / all of the phone calls you made disconnected.”

                            Most freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulateMost freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulates a dog and a brass band falling down the stairs (with jazzy panache, thank you very much).

                            “Fireman” sees Le Bon and Cox cast themselves as postulating heroes, as in a flash of tongue-in-cheek, lyrical-comic wordplay, Cate sings “I am a fireman / putting out fires, man” and Bradford, in a low faux-macho drawl, rambles immodestly in the background about his fire-extinguishing prowess.

                            And final track “What Is She Wearing,” drips with cynicism, wit, and parody punk spirit as Le Bon lists universally relatable and not-so-nice, day-to-day shit: having to take the bins out, stepping in chewing gum, taking your jumper off when you’re wearing an ugly t-shirt underneath, finding dirt on the fork at a fancy restaurant, going to the supermarket and paying five pence for a plastic bag you don’t want. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that John Cale is sawing his bow across an electric guitar somewhere in the background as Le Bon lippily gripes: “I’m walking to get myself a croissant from the bakery / and everybody is looking at me as if I have committed a crime.”

                            But for all their twists and turns, Myths 004’s seven tracks sit perfectly alongside one another - each sounding simultaneously like a Bradford Cox song, and like a Cate Le Bon song. In the true spirit of collaboration, a feeling of sheer joy prevails, uniting the EP’s every shape, character, prang, plod and playful bite.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            SIDE A
                            1. Canto!
                            2. Secretary
                            3. Companions In Misfortune
                            4. Constance

                            SIDE B
                            1. Fireman
                            2. Jericho
                            3. What Is She Wearing

                            Ariel Pink

                            Odditties Sodomies Vol. 2

                              Ariel Archives revisits Ariel Pink’s historic run of albums as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti with a series of definitive reissues and new collections. The first installment begins with Underground, the inaugural album in the series, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 2, a long-awaited second volume of outtakes and non-album tracks, and finally Loverboy, an exemplary disc recorded between October 2001 and July 2002, at which time Ariel also recorded House Arrest.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. The World Is Yours
                              2. Something About Michael Landon
                              3. This Night Has Opened My Eyes
                              4. Stray Here With You
                              5. Go Go X2
                              6. Bolivian Soldier
                              7. Gates Of Xiong
                              8. Chart-Beep
                              9. Unwritten Law
                              10. The Law
                              11. House Of Yesterday
                              12. Driving To The Grave
                              13. Party Zone World

                              Ariel Pink

                              Underground

                                Ariel Archives revisits Ariel Pink’s historic run of albums as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti with a series of definitive reissues and new collections. The first installment begins with Underground, the inaugural album in the series, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 2, a long-awaited second volume of outtakes and non-album tracks, and finally Loverboy, an exemplary disc recorded between October 2001 and July 2002, at which time Ariel also recorded House Arrest.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Disc: 1
                                1. Rock Play
                                2. My Molly
                                3. Tractor Man
                                4. Jack-Off
                                5. Crusades
                                6. Auto Vanity
                                7. Spires In The Snow
                                8. I Love Her Still, I Always Will
                                9. Underground
                                10. Crash CrashOn The Drummer
                                11. Michelle
                                12. Bobby's On The Phone
                                13. Ghost Town
                                14. Damage Done

                                Disc: 2
                                1. Something In Your Eye
                                2. Depends On Everything
                                3. Stop Grazing My Heart
                                4. Don't Turn Back / 2008
                                5. Nana
                                6. Let's Stay In The Past
                                7. You're Too Late
                                8. Sensitive Man

                                Ariel Pink

                                Loverboy

                                  Ariel Archives revisits Ariel Pink’s historic run of albums as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti with a series of definitive reissues and new collections. The first installment begins with Underground, the inaugural album in the series, Odditties Sodomies Vol. 2, a long-awaited second volume of outtakes and non-album tracks, and finally Loverboy, an exemplary disc recorded between October 2001 and July 2002, at which time Ariel also recorded House Arrest.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. So Glad
                                  2. Phoebus Palast
                                  3. Hobbies Galore
                                  4. Don't Talk To Strangers
                                  5. Want Me
                                  6. I Don't Need Enemies
                                  7. Doggone (Shegone)
                                  8. Didn't It Click
                                  9. She's My Girl
                                  10. Loverboy
                                  11. Let's Get Married Tonite
                                  12. Blew Straus
                                  13. The Birds Sing In You
                                  14. Poultry Head
                                  15. Jonathan's Halo
                                  16. Ghosts
                                  17. Older Than Her Years

                                  Allah Las have always been fascinated with both the carefree spirit and glitter-in-the-gutter lifestyle of their hometown LA. After three records mining its lore and lure (from the desert to the sea) and having taken their compact California on the road across the world, they couldn’t help but peek through the other end of the telescope.

                                  On their fourth LP, drummer Matt Correia, bassist Spencer Dunham, and guitarists Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian turn their collective gaze outward and toward the horizon. "We’ve been travelling a lot the past couple years and I think that played a role in influencing the broader variety of songs on this record” Correia explains. Simply titled LAHS (a reference to a common misspelling of the band’s name), their forthcoming release on Mexican Summer finds a band at the peak of their powers.


                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  says: The newest Allah Las outing sees the LA quartet absorb and excel at a dizzying range of influences, exploring everything from classic psychedelic rock, hazy Balearic vibes and 12-bar blues to latin percussion, swooning lounge and of course, their trademark swooning indie. It's a triumph of diversity and thematic consistency, and most of all, bloody good fun.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1. Holding Pattern
                                  2. Keeping Dry
                                  3. In The Air
                                  4. Prazer Em Te Conhecer
                                  5. Roco Ono
                                  6. Star
                                  7. Royal Blues
                                  8. Electricity
                                  9. Light Yearly
                                  10. Polar Onion
                                  11. On Our Way
                                  12. Houston
                                  13. Pleasure 

                                  Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

                                  Tracing Back The Radiance

                                    Some records aren’t as simple as they seem. Most are capsules of beauty and creative vision, or sublime objects of expression which occupy the abstract realms. But the rare few are also discrete philosophies, realised in sound - a truth brought to the forefront by Mexican Summer veteran, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s, latest venture, Tracing Back The Radiance. A radical departure from pop drenched melodies which have defined his recent efforts, its experimental forms offer a dynamic rethinking of the terms and possibilities of discourse and collaboration - a vast ambient landscape of abstraction, texture, and tone, beneath which lingers a veiled vision, addressing the challenges of our increasingly disassociated age. A slow, delicate meditation - open space punctuated by the restrained harmonics of vibraphone, processing, flute, pedal steel, synthesizer, piano, organ, and voice, Tracing Back The Radiance grew from a few simple piano lines, a need for change, and an evolving process which fell somewhere between conversation, singular vision, and a wild game of exquisite corpse - Cantu-Ledesma acting as contributor, servant, and guiding force to the emerging album’s all-star cast of voices - John Also Bennett, Marilu Donavan, Chuck Johnson, Gregg Kowalsky, Mary Lattimore, David Moore, Meara O'Reilly, Jonathan Sielaff, Roger Tellier Craig, and Christopher Tignor, each responding and intervening from various corners of North America. With nods to historic high-water marks in ambient and electroacoustic music, as well Italian minimalist pioneers like Gusto Pio, Lino Capra Vaccina, and Francesco Messina + Raul Lovisoni, Cantu-Ledesma delves forward with one of his most ambitious, elegant, and exciting endeavors of his career, retaining every bit of the ease and openness in musical language which has guided him across the decades. A beautiful, immersive, melancholic, and contemplative balm for the troubled times in which it was made. 

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Palace Of Time
                                    2. Joy
                                    3. Tracing Back The Radiance

                                    It was on a mountainside in Cumbria that the first whispers of Cate Le Bon’s fifth studio album poked their buds above the earth. “There’s a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night,” she says, recounting the year living solitarily in the Lake District which gave way to Reward. By day, ever the polymath, Le Bon painstakingly learnt to make solid wood tables, stools and chairs from scratch; by night she looked to a second-hand Meers - the first piano she had ever owned - for company, “windows closed to absolutely everyone”, and accidentally poured her heart out. The result is an album every bit as stylistically varied, surrealistically-inclined and tactile as those in the enduring outsider’s back catalogue, but one that is also intensely introspective and profound; her most personal to date.

                                    This sense of privacy maintained throughout is helped by the various landscapes within which Reward took shape: Stinson Beach, LA, and Brooklyn via Cardiff and The Lakes. Recording at Panoramic House [Stinson Beach, CA], a residential studio on a mountain overlooking the ocean, afforded Le Bon the ability to preserve the remoteness she had captured during the writing of Reward in Staveley, Lake District.

                                    Over this extended period a cast of trusted and loved musicians joined Le Bon, Khouja and fellow co-producer Josiah Steinbrick - Stella Mozgawa (of Warpaint) on drums and percussion; Stephen Black (aka Sweet Baboo) on bass and saxophone and longtime collaborators Huw Evans (aka H.Hawkline) and Josh Klinghoffer on guitars - and were added to the album, “one by one, one on one”. The fact that these collaborators have appeared variously on Le Bon’s previous outputs no doubt goes some way to aid the preservation of a signature sound despite a relatively drastic change in approach.

                                    Be it on her more minimalist, acoustic-leaning 2009 debut album Me Oh My or critically acclaimed, liquid-riffed 2013 LP Mug Museum, Cate Le Bon’s solo work - and indeed also her production work, such as that carried out on recent Deerhunter album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD, January 2019) - has always resisted pigeonholing, walking the tightrope between krautrock aloofness and heartbreaking tenderness; deadpan served with a twinkle in the eye, a flick of the fringe and a lick of the Telecaster.

                                    The multifaceted nature of Le Bon’s art - its ability to take on multiple meanings and hold motivations which are not immediately obvious - is evident right down to the album’s very name. “People hear the word ‘reward’ and they think that it’s a positive word” says Le Bon, “and to me it’s quite a sinister word in that it depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. I feel like it’s really indicative of the times we’re living in where words are used as slogans, and everything is slowly losing its meaning.” The record, then, signals a scrambling to hold onto meaning; it is a warning against lazy comparisons and face values. It is a sentiment nicely summed up by the furniture-making musician as she advises: “Always keep your hand behind the chisel.”

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    says: Cate Le Bon’s fifth album came together during a period of self imposed solitude in the Lake District. Retreating from L.A. to a mountainside in Cumbria, she spent a year building wooden furniture and penning songs into the night. While writing an album in the woods may sound like a bit of an old singer-songwriter cliché, Le Bon’s offering is far from the soppy acoustic balladry you might expect. Instead, she has produced an album of delightfully unhinged art-pop which reveals the curiosities of her inner world.
                                    ‘Reward’ retains the off-kilter whimsy which is characteristic of Le Bon’s ever expanding back catalogue. She expertly toes the line between heartfelt sincerity and playful absurdity, maintaining an edge to her songwriting which keeps it from sounding twee. Some of her vocal melodies alone would feel at home in a more conventional pop album, but the instrumentation elevates it to outsider status - discordant stings of electric guitar, metallic synths and an anxious ticking always lurking in the background.
                                    The slow, stately opener “Miami” builds through a rising dialogue between the vocals, horns and synth which eventually disappears into thin air. Le Bon then takes us on a soft rock jaunt permeated by a sense of distance and longing: “Love you, I love you, but you’re not here”. “Mother’s Mother’s Magazines” spirals into nervy post punk territory, with each instrument locked into a mechanical groove which rolls forwards like a steam train. But it’s the final song “Meet The Man” which shines the brightest lyrically and melodically, ending the album with a heartwarming resolution: “Love is good, love is ancient to me, love is you, love is beautiful to me”.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    SIDE A
                                    1. Miami
                                    2. Daylight Matters
                                    3. Home To You
                                    4. Mother's Mother's Magazines
                                    5. Here It Comes Again

                                    SIDE B
                                    1. Sad Nudes
                                    2. The Light
                                    3. Magnificent Gestures
                                    4. You Don't Love Me
                                    5. Meet The Man

                                    “All anyone wants to be is what they can.”

                                    After becoming enmeshed in the Los Angeles underground scene after 2013's The End of Comedy, Raw Honey (Michael Collins second album as Drugdealer) sees Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.

                                    Raw Honey features contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh (guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    says: I can't think of a more appropriate home for Drugdealer than on Mexican Summer, with the jagged psychedelic twists and turns and gorgeous, swaying haze of 70's pop shing through every note played, 'Raw Honey' is by far Collins' most assured offering yet and expands upon his already established palette with stunning songwriting and a few perfectly chosen collaborators.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    SIDE A
                                    1. You've Got To Be Kidding
                                    2. Honey
                                    3. Lonely
                                    4. Lost In My Dream

                                    SIDE B
                                    1. Fools
                                    2. If You Don't Know Now, You Never Will
                                    3. Wild Motion
                                    4. London Nightmare
                                    5. Ending On A Hi Note

                                    Paint

                                    Paint

                                      The verb, the noun, the substance, the action, the command: make a mark! With that, PAINT (guitarist/singer Pedrum Siadatian of the Allah-Las), is making his mark too with his first, selftitled solo record.

                                      PAINT started by four-tracking his own strange, slow-growing ideas just after Allah-Las third album Calico Review (2016) - fed or led by a certain acid-bitter poetry (Gregory Corso and John Lennon) and the murky music of Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett. Siadatian found a producer and partner-in-grime in adept cinematic psychedelicist Frank Maston, who instinctively understood these songs would fall apart if scrubbed too roughly in the studio. Now PAINT’s self-titled debut LP has a happily paradoxical finished-but-not-finished-off feel, like Lou Reed and R. Stevie Moore and Julian Cope and Richard Hell, but just the songs that never came out.

                                      Like “Daily Gazette”: big-city-on-the-skids mid-tempo hot-summer punk blues cool like those Richard Hell/Tom Verlaine Neon Boys tapes. Like “Splattered”: a subway-sound Velvet Underground valentine. Like “Silver Streaks”: budget-studio 1970s expression-as-obsession from the California observed and preserved by demimonde private-press psychedelicists Damon or F.J. McMahon. Like “Wash”: a last-dance cosmic waltz that could’ve been a snippet of an Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack.

                                      Anyway, this is PAINT, the substance and the action – it drips, it runs, it changes colors. In between: not the desert but the dirt, not the night but the dark, not the sun but the heat and not the sea but the deep, and always the heartbeat blood-rush feel-it! momentum that makes all rock ‘n’ roll rock and roll.

                                      Think of it this way: PAINT’s first album isn’t always clean, but it’s very very clear. Sometimes the mess is the message.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Intro
                                      2. Daily Gazette
                                      3. Plastic Dreams
                                      4. Moldy Man
                                      5. Silver Streaks
                                      6. True Love (Is Hard To Find)
                                      7. Splattered
                                      8. Just Passin Thru'
                                      9. I Didn't Know A Thing
                                      10. Heaven In Farsi
                                      11. Wash
                                      12. Outro/Corso

                                      Pill

                                      Soft Hell

                                        Soft Hell, Pill’s second full-length album, is a raucous, splintering dispatch from New York City, animated by the madcap ingenuity of a foursome finding a palpable sense of joy and play in expressions of caustic, black humour. Like the contradiction of the album title, which references our acceptance of everyday miseries, it’s a slew of dichotomies, a frenzied cutup. It’s bleeding saxophone and lustrous feedback sounding somehow pastoral, and winking hooks subtly infused with venom. Pill’s lyrics are severe and funny, cryptic and straightforward, but never didactic. They reliably interrogate power. Vocalist and bassist Veronica Torres, a poet and visual artist, has cited as influences J .P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson and Ian Svenonius, apt references for her wildly expressive range. Atop the clattering rush of opener “A.I.Y.M.” she uses an ambiguous narrator to complicate gendered stereotypes, while “Fruit,” a coolly pulsing vamp, explores the paralysis of political anxiety. “What am I allowed to create or destroy?” she asks in “Power Abuser,” highlighting the inanity of needing to ask for permission. Pill resent complacency, whether in political or creative senses. “For me this band’s about being provocative with sound,” said saxophonist Benjamin Jaffe. Drummer Andrew Spaulding said the album title, Soft Hell, critiques the “work-to-play” cliché of New York life, with its breakneck, competitive pursuit of comfort. Torres added that it evokes sexual bondage, describing Soft Hell as a reference to the cyclical monotony of humans harming one another.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1.Softer Side
                                        2.A.I.Y.M?
                                        3. Double Think
                                        4. Dark Glass
                                        5.Midtown
                                        6.Fruit
                                        7.Plastic
                                        8.HaHa
                                        9. Sin Compromiso
                                        10. Power Abuser
                                        11.Soft Hell
                                        12. OK

                                        Jassbusters is Connan Mockasin’s third album and first in five years. An unclassifiable, unconventional album that neither picks up from nor abandons the modes of 2013’s widely-embraced Caramel or its 2010 predecessor Forever Dolphin Love, Jassbusters foreshadows a five-part melodrama film titled Bostyn 'n Dobsyn, created by Mockasin.

                                        Jassbusters soundtracks the unpredictable narrative of the film in eclectic, electric ways.

                                        Whether bending genres or collaborating with artists like James Blake, MGMT, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connan Mockasin has always maneuvered in mysterious ways. After touring with the likes of Radiohead and Neil & Liam Finn (Crowded House), the R&B surrealist continues assembling a cult around his theater, nay spectacle of life with Bostyn ’n Dobsyn screenings and Jassbusters performances throughout October and November 2018.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        says: Smooth as silk, Connan Mockasin smashes out some softly sung utterances and syncopated jazzy flourishes on his newest LP for the excellent Mexican Summer. Weirdo R&B meets with shimmering lounge and almost-vertical soul in this thoroughly entertaining suite. Brilliant.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1. Charlotte's Thong
                                        2. Momo's
                                        3. Last Night
                                        4. You Can Do Anything
                                        5. Con Conn Was Impatient
                                        6. B'nD
                                        7. Sexy Man
                                        8. Les Be Honest

                                        Jess Williamson

                                        Cosmic Wink

                                          A reference to the Jungian idea of synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” Cosmic Wink is as much a reflection on inspired companionship as it is a rebirth. Jess Williamson fell deeply in love, and then her life was uprooted; she left Texas for California, leaving behind the roadworn verses of her previous albums for brighter, bolder songwriting.

                                          The Byrds-ian jangle of album opener “I See The White” airbrushes halos around the brain with an immortal pop hook. When Williamson asks her listener to “tell me everything you know about consciousness,” it’s an invitation down a two lane blacktop, both vessels heading the same direction.

                                          The Rhodes-soaked “Wild Rain” begins with a ghostly air until a swell of synths gives way like the heavens parting. Williamson’s voice emerges from the clouds promising that she will “treasure your patience / from you I learned what it means to make a family.”

                                          Concluding with “Love On the Piano,” Williamson’s new musical and lyrical mind declares “Love is my name now / Love, Darlin” over a revolving acoustic guitar line and lightly pressed upright piano notes. Vulnerability can feel something less vulnerable when love - true, deep love - creates a latticework to hang the frame of our humanity, which in many ways is the message underlying the entire album.

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1. I See The White
                                          2. Awakening Baby
                                          3. White Bird
                                          4. Wild Rain
                                          5. Thunder Song
                                          6. Mama Proud
                                          7. Dream State
                                          8. Forever
                                          9. Love On The Piano

                                          For the third Marfa Myths release, we’re proud to present seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen and adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods. As the Myths record series progresses, the spirit of the collaborations between the artists chosen – one a member of the Mexican Summer family, the other for which we share deep admiration – deepens as well. Dungen and Woods were tourmates in the summer of 2009, traversing America and bonding with one another in the process. The familiarity with one another’s music and personalities was already well in place, but the eight years that passed between the tour and the making of this record reveal that nothing was lost in the interim. That this is the most music assembled for a Marfa Myths release to date is telling of a rare and special connection, reignited by the circumstances of the occasion.

                                          Dungen’s Gustav Ejstes and Reine Fiske, and Woods’ Jeremy Earl and Jarvis Taveniere were provided the freedom to acclimate themselves to the unique frequencies of the Marfa experience without distraction. Marfa Myths 003 showcases a seamless merging of two bands following the same track to different locations throughout their career, as if they’d been playing together for decades, an exhilarating and buoyant example of how shared experiences can foster truly wonderful music.

                                          STAFF COMMENTS

                                          says: Like the 'In The Fishtank' series from Konkurrent, 'Myths' from the superb Mexican Summer has managed to take two differing acts and force them together to great effect. The dark, psychedelic underbelly of Dungen meet the light, airy bliss of Woods perfectly. A future classic, and a superb benchmark for future collaborative efforts.

                                          Gregg Kowalsky

                                          L'Orange L'Orange

                                            What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer. Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star. The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue skies, sun-baked shores, and drifting tides throughout – from the sparkling ripples of “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.” L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            says: Shimmering, shifting walls of fuzzy drone, beautiful veiled melodies and soaring hazy pads pull together into a dreamlike fugue, comfortably blurry but beautiful to the end.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1. L'Ambience, L'Orange
                                            2. Maliblue Dream Sequence
                                            3. Tuned To Monochrome
                                            4. Tonal Bath For Bubbles
                                            5. Pattern Haze
                                            6. Ritual Del Croix
                                            7. Blind Contour Drawing For Piano

                                            Ariel Pink

                                            Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

                                              Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades.

                                              Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality.

                                              Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              says: AP is a Piccadilly legend. Lord of hypnopompic indie-pop brilliance, his none-categorizable yet ticking-every-genre-box style is as contradictory as is it beguiling as it is idiosyncratic; and is possibly the reason that every one of us here in the shop has a favourite song. ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ sees complex song-writing and skilled musicianship almost undermined by Ariel's quirky, nonchalant, fun-loving nature. A celebration rather than a study, I'm positive Ariel cares little if you observe his exceptional hooks, evocative commentary or multi-dimensional musical vision. He just wants you to shake, rattle and roll! It's a contradiction that runs through his career, almost constantly shunning professionalism for fun. A feature that makes him all the more intriguing and enjoyable, reminding us that to take life seriously is to not enjoy it at all. Stylishly conjuring up idealistic dreams of playing pinball and driving freeways with your mates; drinking, dancing and smoking underage; youthful exuberance and the American Dream, ‘Dedicated To Bobby Jameson’ is a masterpiece.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              1. Time To Meet Your God
                                              2. Feels Like Heaven
                                              3. Death Patrol
                                              4. Santa's In The Closet
                                              5. Dedicated To Bobby Jameson
                                              6. Time To Live
                                              7. Another Weekend
                                              8. I Wanna Be Young
                                              9. Bubblegum Dreams
                                              10. Dreamdate Narcissist
                                              11. Kitchen Witch
                                              12. Do Yourself A Favor
                                              13. Acting

                                              DISC 2 (Deluxe Edition Only)
                                              1. Nighttime Is Great !
                                              2. Lil' Birdie Told Me
                                              3. Non-Sequitur Segues

                                              Ariel Pink

                                              "Another Weekend" B/w "Ode To The Goat (Thank You)"

                                                Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality. Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

                                                Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

                                                On The Echoing Green

                                                  On the Echoing Green is an elegant work of lush, shimmering sound, rendered with a singular touch by eternal electric romantic Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. In contrast to the haze and hermetic process of previous albums, Green was conceived as a deliberate experiment in clarity and collaboration: “I was interested in trying to bring out more overt pop elements, to let them come to the front and be present. I also have more trust now in letting things happen – trusting other people’s musicianship, and being open to people’s ideas. Eventually, things emerge.” What emerged from this bond are eight rapturous and richly melodic slow dives of swirling guitar, bass, synthesizer, piano, and drum machines, dramatically accented in places by heavenly arcs of voice courtesy of Argentinian singer-songwriter Sobrenadar. Cantu-Ledesma encouraged chemistry and intuition in the studio by beginning the album without any demos for reference; he and his collaborators pursued patterns and hypnotic textures across long-form improvisations until gradually songs began to take shape. This is music of growth and grandeur, of ascent and exploration, played with purpose and passion by a craftsman in tune with the beauty of sound and the harmony of light. In his words: “[This album] feels like spring – things coming alive, blooming, emerging from winter.”

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. In A Copse
                                                  2. A Song Of Summer
                                                  3. Echoing Green
                                                  4. The Faun
                                                  5. Tenderness
                                                  6. Vulgar Latin
                                                  7. Autumn
                                                  8. Dancers At The Spring
                                                  9. Door To Night

                                                  Tonstartssbandht

                                                  Sorcerer

                                                    Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit), since 2011’s Now I Am Become. On Sorcerer, the brothers chart a heavenly course above the storm and stress, one explored over years of touring and a poetic language forged between performers and siblings. Sorcerer offers three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay. The album displays larger lyrical concepts within the framework of a guitar and drums duo; Andy's guitar and vocal loops creating a cascading sheet of interpretative reverb and future melodies, Ed's high-stakes drumming divided every which way but loose, a deep canvas of cohabitating sounds. Associated artists: - Andy is a hired guitarist for Mac DeMarco - Edwin has a project called EOLA

                                                    Riding on a cloud of smoke, psychedelic travelers Shadow Band make sounds that move like foggy dreams from fantastical lands. Their patient but powerful songs set in motion a series of refracting echoes that call forth images of medieval battles, spirits unseen by human eyes, and the gentle, constant pulsing of the universe. The band formed organically around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, a quiet figure whose vibrant mental landscape is the center of the group’s orbit. Growing up in New Jersey, Bruno immersed himself in a self-made world of gloomy sonic alchemy, honing his songcraft as a solo act in New Brunswick's small-but-dedicated freak scene. The early years saw Bruno attracting a rotating cast of area heads around his growing arsenal of songs and dubbing it Black Magic Family Band. The sprawling web of artists varied with every gig and recording session, but the roots of Shadow Band started here. Sonically, the homespun production mirrors the communal environment in which they were made. Layers of murky instrumentation congeal into a singular sound, with strange stringed instruments, theremin vibrations and buried percussion all washing by as a solid alien texture. Songs melt into one another to the sound of distant birds and pagan pan flutes only to rise up in swells of unholy synth.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Green Riverside
                                                    2. Endless Night
                                                    3. Shadowland
                                                    4. Eagle Unseen
                                                    5. In The Shade
                                                    6. Indian Summer
                                                    7. Morning Star
                                                    8. Mad John
                                                    9. Illuminate
                                                    10. Darksiders' Blues
                                                    11. Daylight

                                                    Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, & outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.

                                                    There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato & the ecstatic chord resolves. But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, & acceptance of change. Love & loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.

                                                    The closeness of this record - how personal, alone, & frank it feels - conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the "Earth" of its title. Weyes Blood harbors devastating weight while also universalizing the strange ways of identity & relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs -- they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love & affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Diary
                                                    2. Used To Be
                                                    3. Be Free
                                                    4. Do You Need My Love
                                                    5. Generation Why
                                                    6. Can't Go Home
                                                    7. Seven Words
                                                    8. Away Above
                                                    9. Front Row Seat

                                                    Calico Review shows a band that’s grown confident enough in its own style to reflect the perspectives of each member, & craft an album that changes up the approach from song-to-song, while retaining their abilities as a cohesive unit.

                                                    “Strange Heat,” reflects a control & character that burns off of the band’s knack for restraint. Songs like “Famous Phone Figure” cradle character sketches over delicate strains of violin, organ, & Mellotron, Matthew Correia’s drumming carefully underlining a three-note theme that casts a phantom sadness over the proceedings, the group exerting a touch both light & steady enough to bring your mood to theirs.

                                                    “Could Be You” works off a steady percussive gallop, guitarist Miles Michaud waxing reflexively on second chances while the band focuses on forward motion. “Roadside Memorial” applies the Bo Diddley beat to the open road, Pedrum Siadatian stepping up on vocals, & finding new ways to match his talents to propulsive musical ends. Elsewhere, “High & Dry,” features Correia on lead vocals, focusing on their most quintessential & peerless quality: writing emotionally resonant pop, at once direct & detached, casual & knowing, & instantly memorable. The dream factory itself gets called out in the fun, surf-stung number “200 South La Brea,” its carnival-like atmosphere reflecting the excitement & anxiety of those who await their judgment.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    says: With hints of rock and/or roll, 70's pop and modern twee indie, Allah Las are a band that defy at least ten expectations before even getting out of bed. Each one of these pieces has an understated elegance and confidence that we haven't heard from them before. Songs like 'Could Be You' are more driven and rocking while 'Famous Phone Figure' is a Wurlitzer swirled Floydian delight. The changes don't end there, but i'll leave the rest a surprise.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1: Strange Heat
                                                    2: Satisfied
                                                    3: Could Be You
                                                    4: High & Dry
                                                    5: Mausoleum
                                                    6: Roadside Memorial
                                                    7: Autumn Dawn
                                                    8: Famous Phone Figure
                                                    9: 200 South La Brea
                                                    10: Warmed Kippers
                                                    11: Terra Ignota
                                                    12: Place In The Sun

                                                    Convenience skids like a garbage truck with no brakes, barreling through passages of guitar chording bent at the wrong angles and ring-modded riffs aligning with Benjamin Jaffe’s expressive sax before splitting apart into chaos. Veronica Torres assumes double-duty between vocals and bass, while Jon Campolo plays three instruments in the live setting and Andrew Spaulding four, including circuit-bent noise rigs of their own invention. Veronica’s words are delivered with the speed and frenzy of someone with their life on the line, but she’s also able to slow things down in a gesture of dominance, confidence, and trust. This band is wise enough to know that safety is fleeting, so they take their digs when and where they can.

                                                    Given Pill's backgrounds, their music advances a notion of what the punk spirit of NYC might be: the capture and distillation of the energy and friction that comes from living amongst so many people in such a confined space. The idea seeds in free jazz and improvisation; reached adolescence in galleries and loft spaces in the ‘70s; found politics in squats and independent spaces; and it grows stronger the more these several sensibilities are practiced ands stewed. Call them No wave, post-punk, noise; they are immune, content to head off in a direction of their own design.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. 60 Sec.
                                                    2. Which Is True?
                                                    3. My Rights
                                                    4. Fetish Queen
                                                    5. Dead Boys
                                                    6. J-E-N-O-V-A
                                                    7. 100% Cute
                                                    8. Sex With Santa
                                                    9. Speaking Up
                                                    10. Vagabond
                                                    11. Love & Other Liquids
                                                    12. Medicine 

                                                    Torn Hawk

                                                    Union And Return

                                                      Union and Return is the third album from Luke Wyatt’s Torn Hawk. It was composed and recorded entirely by Wyatt at his home in Berlin and is inspired by painters like Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Caspar David Friedrich. Here. Wyatt parts the gauze that shrouded his former work to reveal a lush and ornate set of compositions -- elegantly orchestrated, awash in unguarded emotion.

                                                      Having spent years working with gritty production techniques, Wyatt seems refreshed and restored by the possibilities of definition and detail. Many tracks were initially composed on piano and then painstakingly fleshed out into final form. The feel is spontaneous, rather than labored, and the pieces possess an organic and grid-less grace. On album opener “The Romantic,” the flow of ideas is natural, seamlessly transferring melodies and themes from voice to voice, instrument to instrument. Orchestral arrangements give way to layered guitars, smeared pads and collaged digital detritus.

                                                      While the record luxuriates in subtle, delicate dynamics, Union and Return is just as disruptive as anything in his back catalog. Tracks like “Feeling is Law” and “Die Swimming in the Sea Here” supply a full-bore tenderness that can be uncomfortable, especially for those projecting a policed gruff or “masculine” image. This disruption is key to the music’s intent - gentle music as a tough gesture.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1: The Romantic
                                                      2: Feeling Is Law
                                                      3: Borderlands
                                                      4: Thornfield
                                                      5: With My Back To The Tower
                                                      6: Friends & Family
                                                      7: Scene On A Staircase
                                                      8: Our Knives
                                                      9: The Archers
                                                      10: To Miss The Mark
                                                      11: Die Swimming In The Sea Here 

                                                      Plaza is the third album by Quilt; a name implying a meeting place, a crossroads, a coming together. In the space of ten songs, Plaza clarifies Quilt’s musical stance of a congregation, mixing folk, pop-psych, and wanderlust into a common ground where each form takes on the characteristics of one another to create something wholly satisfying, styles and sentiments hand in hand, the purest and sharpest distillation of Quilt’s group aesthetic to date.

                                                      On Plaza, Quilt has pivoted their sound on a new foothold. The guitars shimmer, squawk, warble, swell, and tense up. The organs and synths flow in the background as mood-enhancers. The drums dig in a little deeper. We hear flutes and harps, a string quartet, grand pianos and Casios, feedback and distorted violas. Among all these sounds the group’s shared and solo vocals showcase some of the strongest lyrics and hooks the band has made to date.

                                                      Plaza showcases a tighter, more concise version of Quilt, particularly as the members have learned to encourage each other’s strengths and allow each other to confidently exist as distinct voices cooperating within a very intimate creative space; their songcraft has tightened up, their singing now crystal clear, vis á vis personal experiences of loss, frustration and isolation.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1: Passersby
                                                      2: Roller
                                                      3: Searching For
                                                      4: O’Connor's Barn
                                                      5: Eliot St.
                                                      6: Hissing My Plea
                                                      7: Something There
                                                      8: Padova
                                                      9: Your Island
                                                      10: Own Ways

                                                      Soldiers Of Fortune

                                                      Early Risers

                                                        Soldiers Of Fortune started back in August 2004 as an ANTI-BAND! The idea was - instigated by Brad Truax - to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road! Enter Mike Bones, who lit a fire under our asses and a show was booked again, then another, then another. Labels started sniffing around and offers were made. Of course, at the time we thought accepting any offer would be signing our death warrant for all we stood for as the ANTI-BAND, so we declined all offers. We fell back in the studio and recorded a dozen embryonic 'song ideas', rather than jams, over an afternoon. We then called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. Beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (so many bands, but dude, Interpol?), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (fuck yeah Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez being his LEAST well-known operation should tell you something), Jesper Eklow (Meandering Tedium, sorry, Endless Boogie), Mike Bones already, and the elusive Papa Crazee (heavy early riser in team Oneida) we abused the superior vocal stylings of our Healer, Shaman and Answer CLARK "YEREMIAS" BRONSON, STEPHEN MALKMUS, CASS MCCOMBS, DAN MELCHIOR, ETHAN MILLER and MATT MCAULEY.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1: Nails
                                                        2: Cinnamon Man
                                                        3: Campus Swagger
                                                        4: Old Roman Wall
                                                        5: Dog Tooth Down
                                                        6: Pure Shame
                                                        7: Santa Monica
                                                        8: Fatigues
                                                        9: Kall Mi Kaos
                                                        10: Which

                                                        Tamaryn

                                                        Cranekiss

                                                          Tamaryn’s first two full-lengths (2010’s The Waves and 2012’s Tender New Signs) stood out in a crowd of shoegaze/ethereal revivalists as much for what they were (careful, gorgeous, thrilling tapestries of guitar-based textures) as what they weren’t (simplistic, trendy, disposable signposts made to be broken). With Cranekiss, Tamaryn emerges from her past in a way that’s inviting, warm-blooded, and shockingly direct. She’s made a big record, loaded with samples and synth triggers, the result of long nights grinding it out at the Brooklyn studio Gary’s Electric,on her own and with Weekend’s Shaun Durkan, and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Violens, Lansing-Dreiden).

                                                          With Cranekiss her sonic palette has exploded with maniacal abandon, pressed into service of a post-adolescent love letter to all the music that she and her collaborators hold dear, drawing influences from the feelings that fell out of her. Lyrically, this is Tamaryn’s most personal collection of songs to date, and Elbrecht has placed her voice front and center across the entire record. Cranekiss explores dark rock, dance pop, and glistening melancholy with a uniformly commanding presence across it all, in stormy, unsettled brushstrokes that apply pressure behind Tamaryn’s words.

                                                          Cranekiss represents a long journey, and a new phase - a blood-red kaleidoscope of desire and late night abandon, a bold step forward.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1: Cranekiss
                                                          2: Hands All Over Me
                                                          3: Last
                                                          4: Collection
                                                          5: Keep Calling
                                                          6: Softcore
                                                          7: Fade Away Slow
                                                          8: I Won't Be Found
                                                          9: Sugar Fix
                                                          10: Intruder (Waking You Up) 

                                                          No Joy

                                                          More Faithful

                                                            More Faithful' is No Joy’s third full-length for Mexican Summer, and bears the fruits of a band that redefined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome – the juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of dimmed amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music – is as unwavering as ever.

                                                            But where 'Wait To Pleasure' (2013) balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, 'More Faithful' documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance, one in which the group pushed themselves to new peaks of intensity. All of the record’s 11 songs, in whole or in part, jump at the listener with atypical tunings and key changes, tension from odd time signatures and an upfront rhythmic presence, and the force demonstrated in their live show.

                                                            Listen to More Faithful then listen to it again. There is no question that it’s the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made to date, taking their set of influences to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. At times it’s heavier than anything they’ve done yet, and also their fastest, riffs shooting upward in discord and drifting down in angelic harmonies. Shoegaze and ethereal and alternative rock revivals be damned; More Faithful pushes No Joy to the breaking point. They’ve leveled up.

                                                            Travis Bretzer

                                                            Waxing Romantic

                                                              Waxing Romantic is the debut album from Canadian artist Travis Bretzer. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, 24-year-old Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour, Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing. On his debut EP Making Love (Mexican Summer, 2013) he managed to touch on the new-pop of Orange Juice, the playful idiosyncrasies of Prefab Sprout, with a freewheeling sensibility present in much of the Stiff Records catalog. Above all, Making Love displayed some truly sophisticated songwriting that belied its occasionally haphazard bedroom production and casual delivery.

                                                              On Waxing Romantic, Travis has stepped up the production in a big way, graduating from the bedroom to a full studio environment. Recorded at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn and produced by Jorge Elbrecht the new environment has allowed for Travis' songs to be taken to new, fully-realized heights.

                                                              The move to the studio also feels very in keeping with the sonic inspiration Travis had for the album, which came in part from memories of rifling through his parents' soft-rock LPs: think Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart, Christopher Cross, The Eagles. With their warm drums and smooth, clean studio sound informing Travis' sonic palette, it makes sense that Gary's Electric became the venue for the album recording.

                                                              'It sounds like pina coladas and an afternoon spent woozily wandering around, slightly tipsy from said cocktails, hand-in-hand with a beautiful partner in crime.' Noisey

                                                              ‘Travis Bretzer’s music has the effect of transporting listeners into a cloudy, ether-effect chamber, like Doctor Who scouring the skies while on valium. Nostalgia swims around, with melodies sharp enough to survive any decade.’DIY

                                                              Jefre Cantu-Ledesm

                                                              A Year With 13 Moons

                                                                A master of romantic abstraction, Jefre Cantu–Ledesma is not new to the scene. In fact, he's been releasing a steady stream of music for nearly twenty years. With the brilliant album A Year With 13 Moons, however, the ever–prolific Ledesma appears to be hitting a new high. Or low, depending on how you like to see things.

                                                                Using a friend's reel to reel tape player, Cantu employed electric guitar, modular synthesizer, drum machine and concrète sounds from his surroundings at the Headlands, recorded while walking to the studio, cooking in the kitchen, talking with friends, the ocean, films he was watching, driving in a car. Everything was record stereo to tape.

                                                                The result is gorgeous, haunting and sprawling. A companion to his last full length LP, Love is A Stream, (Type, 2010), 13 Moons, is a dense, swirling mass.


                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1: The Last Time I Saw Your Face
                                                                2: Love After Love
                                                                3: Disappear
                                                                4: Mirror Of Past & Future
                                                                5: Interiors
                                                                6: Pale Flower
                                                                7: The Twins / Shadows
                                                                8: Agate Beach
                                                                9: The Spree
                                                                10: Early Autumn
                                                                11: A Portrait Of You At Nico's Grave, Grunewald, Berlin (For Bill K.)
                                                                12: Remembering
                                                                13: Görlitzer Park
                                                                14: Along The Isar
                                                                15: At The End Of Spring
                                                                16: Remains

                                                                Torn Hawk

                                                                Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

                                                                'Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time' is the most recent statement from Torn Hawk aka producer and video artist Luke Wyatt. It's difficult to neatly categorize Wyatt's genre-refracting productions. The nuts and bolts are built from live guitar, drum machines, junky synths, and layers of samples which are smeared into a cohesive whole. Wyatt's guitar moves between the meditations of Manuel Göttsching, the jangle-grid of The Chameleons and the saturation of Medicine. Throw in the melodrama of a sax on a Don Henley hit, and you get a better idea of Torn Hawk's playfully sincere sensibility.



                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1: I'm Flexible
                                                                2: She Happens
                                                                3: Afterprom
                                                                4: Return To The Pec Deck
                                                                5: Acceptance Speech
                                                                6: Because Of M.A.S.K.
                                                                7: Under Wolf Rule
                                                                8: There Was A Time

                                                                Acting as a respite from the celebrated strains of modern Australian underground music, Lower Plenty manage a deconstruction of folk music like none other: unsettled, unforgiving, unconcerned with what came before or what’s to follow. Acoustic guitars shuffle in and out of phase with one another, double-tracked vocals hover above in careful meter, brushed snare rattles the very frame of their sound, and then everything shifts again, and again. Comfort’s not long here, though beauty is maintained; melodies start sweet but turn inward, wane nostalgic and wax without resolve.

                                                                Life/Thrills is the Melbourne group’s third full-length, and their collective experience will leave you thoroughly unprepared for the beautiful confusion suggested by these ten songs, which seem to have the power of slowing and even stopping time. Suitable comparisons to this music are as disparate as early Cat Power, Arab Strap, the Shrimper roster ca. 1992, the Sun City Girls, and the late ‘60s/early ‘70s output of the Red Crayola, but as with much truly original music, Lower Plenty resists direct comparison and defies expectation. Their shambling, discordant presence will relieve you of any preconceptions – this is one best experienced alone, as the sun fades into the horizon for the night.

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1: Waiting On A Tram
                                                                2: Calculations
                                                                3: Life/Thrills
                                                                4: Took A Trip
                                                                5: Concrete Floor
                                                                6: On The Beach
                                                                7: Jealous
                                                                8: Go Down
                                                                9: You Pushed Me
                                                                10: Lots Of Lows

                                                                The legacy of North Carolina’s Ashrae Fax seems destined to be appreciated in retrospect, in no small part given to the tremendous power of the group’s 2003 release Static Crash!, reissued twice from its initial CD-R run before appearing on Mexican Summer last year.

                                                                The Goth/ethereal duo of vocalist Renée Mendoza and producer/guitarist Alex Chesney had built a long, strange and mostly undocumented legacy prior to that release, and Never Really Been Into It extends the tale back even further: ten songs, sketched out in the late ‘90s, most of which were never completed and remained unheard until now.

                                                                Rescued from a shoebox of ephemera from the band’s earliest days, when Mendoza and guitarist Alex Chesney drifted out of high school and into the uncertainties of early adulthood, these songs were the product of a band whose members had nothing but time and ambition, influence and desire to transcend their humble beginnings. Pieced together and re-recorded in 2013 by Renée in her home studio, from mere stems and forgotten takes preserved on decades-old minidisc recordings, the songs reflect disquiet, uncertainty, absolute beauty, along teenage obsessions with The Cocteau Twins and The Cure, refracted through the lens of latter-day experience – pristine musicianship, gorgeous vocals, cryogenically frozen until now. Had these songs been properly released when initially conceived. First new record in over 10 years

                                                                For Fans of: Lush, This Mortal Coil, The Cure

                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                1: Dreamers Tied To Chairs
                                                                2: Chkn
                                                                3: The Big Lie
                                                                4: Fits And Starts
                                                                5: Decaax
                                                                6: Hurricanes In A Jar
                                                                7: You Make Me Question My Mind (In A Thousand Words About Time)
                                                                8: Intexus
                                                                9: Seconds Chances
                                                                10: In Motion

                                                                La Hell Gang

                                                                Thru Me Again

                                                                  Thru Me Again is the 2nd release from Chilean trio La Hell Gang and their first with Mexican Summer. Hailing from Santiago, which plays host to an ever growing psychedelic scene (Holydrug Couple, Follakzoid, La Banda, etc), the band create a remote and wild brand of rock ‘n' roll. The eight tracks across Thru Me Again weave seamlessly, channeling heat, light and endless desert dunes.

                                                                  Despite the heavy context, there's a real clarity in the production, making the blistering guitar solos and mirage-like vocals all the more potent. Tracks like "Inside My Fall" and "Last Hit" recall bands like The Black Angels and BRMC, but some of the more lucid moments ("Sweet Dear", "So High") feel like a grittier Brightblack Morning Light. The soundtrack for your heat swept summer.

                                                                  The Fresh & Onlys

                                                                  House Of Spirits

                                                                    The Fresh & Onlys’ fifth album, House of Spirits is the San Francisco quartet’s most focused and most experimental yet.

                                                                    The seasoned ensemble’s fiery feel and careful arrangements run throughout, but it also privileges The Fresh & Onlys’ experimental tendencies. There’s violent, churning guitar noise between gospel-like vocal interplay for “Bells of Paonia” and an ominous drum machine pulse underpins the unsettling finale, “Madness,” a track that inspired Miles to throttle his guitar with a power drill in the studio for what he calls “a sort of Einstürzende Neubauten moment.” As Cohen relishes mystery, camps out in dreams and hones his singular approach to glistening pop with sinister undertones, perhaps “Madness” speaks best to the Fresh & Onlys’ essence. The material gestated during vocalist Tim Cohen’s isolated stay on an Arizonan horse ranch where he documented dreams in a bedside notebook. The resultant songs are by turns pristine, feverish, and bizarre, as The Fresh & Onlys returned to Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco with Phil Manley (Trans Am) to recast the textures, leaps of logic and evocative character of Cohen’s dreams into songs.

                                                                    Quilt

                                                                    Held In Splendor

                                                                      Following their 2011 self-titled debut on Mexican Summer, Quilt return with their sophomore album 'Held in Splendor'.

                                                                      'Held in Splendor' is an audacious pop-rock record with cascading harmonies and billowing textures, punchy rhythms and snarled guitars, wonderful depth and resplendent peaks. “Mary Mountain” takes hazy Summer of Love memories on a mid-summer road trip in a gleaming muscle car. “Tired & Buttered” invites Booker T over for an energy-addled jam in the garage. “The Hollow” twinkles like Fleetwood Mac and Galaxie 500, with sweet singing backed by the lap steel sighs of young acoustic guitar star and longtime Quilt pal Daniel Bachman.

                                                                      Held in Splendor is an album of personal poetry and public questions, confessions and aspirations—really, these 13 tracks are their own playground, brimming with the sort of unapologetic energy and wonder that turns simple songs into absolute anthems.

                                                                      “handmade and stitched-together, as though its creators were sifting through a collection of musical hand-me-downs and collating the bits that spoke to them into something new" - PITCHFORK

                                                                      “A classical approach to music and an appreciation for the age-old practice of chant and melody with a slight lean toward the weird and experimental" - FADER "A fresh take on well-worn folk rock textures, instilling a bit of color into vintage grooves." – STEREOGUM

                                                                      Freewheeling Brattleboro, VT rock/folk wonderments the Happy Jawbone Family Band bring their latest full-length to Mexican Summer. What they’ve entrusted us to give to you represents their finest and most directly fulfilling effort to date.

                                                                      The energy and humor of early releases remains; that band you may have loved before has grown even stronger and more potent, its songs now monuments to individualism, to longing, to happier endings resulting from imperfect circumstances.

                                                                      Binding folk, indie rock and pop forms together is easy enough; it’s what this band does with them, how it builds its sentiments and bursts preconceptions, that put them in a place where these musicians can rest, comfortably above and apart from almost every band working in this same terrain today.

                                                                      We’re hearing the trippiest moments of the Beatles, Lindsey Buckingham at the peaks he reached on Tusk, and both poles of American post-punk songwriting royalty, Camper Van Beethoven at one end and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 at the other. Try it on.

                                                                      “Happy Jawbone's disturbed take on whimsy and rebellious, youthful spirit recalls lo-fi stables, Elephant 6 and K Records” - Pitchfork

                                                                      "something truly defining” - The 405

                                                                      "beautiful psych-punk creation” - Ad Hoc

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      1. Everybody Knows About Daddy
                                                                      2. I Have To Speak With Rocky Balboa
                                                                      3. D-R-E-A-M-I-N'
                                                                      4. The Green Light
                                                                      5. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid"
                                                                      6. Stay-at-Home Soldier
                                                                      7. Can't You Hear Me Ticking
                                                                      8. Do You Want Me
                                                                      9. Mr. Clean
                                                                      10. I'll Never Go Skin Deep Again
                                                                      11. I Don't Wanna Dance Tonight

                                                                      Travis Bretzer

                                                                      Making Love

                                                                        Hailing from the isolated climes of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), 23 year old Travis Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour,Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing - his breezy, classic songs touching on the new-pop of Orange Juice, the playful idiosyncrasies of Prefab Sprout, with a freewheeling sensibility present in much of the Stiff Records catalog. There's a truly deft, sophisticated streak through Travis' songwriting that belies its occasionally haphazard production and cheeky, casual delivery.

                                                                        After purchasing his first guitar as a teenager with savings from his scuzzy movie theatre job, Bretzer formed a band, The Subatomics, with his best friend. They taught each other how to play and honed their craft supporting a range of touring bands, as well as in their own ramshackle local shows. These days Bretzer spends his days writing jingles and goofballing on a local radio station - a day jobbefitting of his knack for penning perfect melodies and ear-wormy hooks.

                                                                        "Forget the food courts and GAP megastores, Edmonton has a new jewel in their crown." "On debut EP teaser ‘Trying To Learn’ – a title indicative of Bretzer’s self-deprecating manner – he drawls verses about feeling elderly in his youth with a sweet and hopeful air; not so much Mac (Demarco), more like an embodiment of the C86 movement." - Line of Best Fit

                                                                        Various Artists

                                                                        Tight Fog - A Mexican Summer & Software Sampler

                                                                          Tight Fog is a stylistic sampler of the Mexican Summer and Software Recording Company catalogs to date.

                                                                          Spanning from early gems by Real Estate and Tamaryn, to more recent releases from Autre Ne Veut and Lace Curtain, the compilation is a diverse, but strangely cohesive look at the journey so far.

                                                                          The debut album from this Atlanta-based five-piece is certainly not easy to pigeonhole. Shifting seamlessly from taut post-punk to lush 60s balladry, and starry-eyed guitar pop to moody guitar squall, VPI Harmony is the sound of a band meticulously studied in their influences, and unafraid to expand, combine and re-imagine the sounds of their musical loves into their own signature package.

                                                                          Take for instance the way album opener "Dark Flow", whose lilting guitar notes and stately drum rolls drifts with floaty falsettos straight into the tightly wound, breathy lead single "Pathos y Lagrimas", replete with glossy guitars and an air of sexy mystery. Or the way in which "Promise Me" switches from peppy, Sarah Records jangle into dreamy girl-group heartbreak in under a minute.

                                                                          Moving from the loose, lo-fi quality of their debut EP Sweater Weather Forever in 2011, VPI Harmony was recorded, mixed and mastered in-studio at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn. The upgrade has done wonders for enhancing the band's sound, and helping to fully realize and emulate their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop production.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1. Dark Flow
                                                                          2. Pathos Y Lagrimas
                                                                          3. Come Lay Down In Lined Arrangements
                                                                          4. Perusha
                                                                          5. Minor Slaloms
                                                                          6. Promise Me Eternity
                                                                          7. The Line
                                                                          8. Exorcised Painting
                                                                          9. Hollow Dye (Defected Crystal)
                                                                          10. Get Lost
                                                                          11. Charles Mansion

                                                                          Turning Shrines

                                                                          Face Of Another

                                                                            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2013 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                            The one-sided 7" from Jorge Elbrecht and New York-based Tamaryn features a cover of Turning Shrines "1/4 Circle Black" - a track which almost feels tailor-made for Tamaryn's brand of lush shoegaze.

                                                                            Mexican Summer is excited to re-release this rare 12" EP from Turning Shrines, uniquely accompanied by a 7" from Jorge Elbrecht featuring current Mexican Summer signee Tamaryn.

                                                                            Turning Shrines was one of a handful of projects from revered electronic artist Fred Giannelli, perhaps best known for his work with Psychic TV and under other aliases including Kooky Scientist and Acid Didj. Turning Shrines was a trio made up of Giannelli, Neal Sugarman and Leslie Asako Gladsjo. Temple Records (Psychic TV’s own imprint) released Face Of Another in 1984, followed by one LP Cinnabar and Porcelain in 1988 -the second and last ever official release from the project.

                                                                            After meeting the founder of Temple Records in Boston in 1984, a 24-year-old Fred decided that he would document his development as as musician and music producer and finance an actual record of his own! material. Fred had also done! extensive live sound for various bands in Boston area clubs since 1980 and was working in a recording studio throughout the early 80s learning the craft. The four tracks which make up Face of Another showcase the early fruits of this craft - ghostly vocals and reverberating guitar swirls, all held together by Giannelli's unmistakeable synth work.

                                                                            500 Copies for the UK

                                                                            Lilacs & Champagne

                                                                            Danish & Blue

                                                                              "Turning away from the suspense and dread of their other band 'Grails', Emil Amos and Alex Hall pursue a different angle of playfulness and perversion with their newer project “Lilacs & Champagne”. Their self-titled debut of 2012 warped samples from around the world to build a new kind of psychotic mood music… and their 2nd record “Danish & Blue” manages to be even grander and more ambitious, yet somehow more damaged and bugged-out.

                                                                              In 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalize pornography, and dominated the market for some years with a bizarre comedic approach to smut that made millions until the rest of the world caught up. The new record takes its title from this era of Scandinavian backroom films and utilizes samples from some of the most obscure B-movies of the late 60’s.

                                                                              Alternately beautiful and deviant, L&C showcase a unique sense of humor and digging understanding that escapes the car-commercial-ification of the sample-based styles that’ve been left for dead or un-updated. "L&C" take the classic crate-digging methodology that built instrumental hip-hop and direct it back into darker unexplored creases of cult music history. From an alternate dimension where 'behind the curve' and 'ahead of the curve' conjoin to make music actually fun to listen to again and mysterious, we give you “Danish & Blue”!"

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              1. Metaphysical Transitions
                                                                              2. Sour / Sweet
                                                                              3. Le Grand
                                                                              4. Better Beware
                                                                              5. Alone Again And...
                                                                              6. Police Story
                                                                              7. Hamburgers & Tangerines
                                                                              8. Honest Man
                                                                              9. Refractory Period
                                                                              10. Danish & Blue
                                                                              11. Metaphysical Transitions II

                                                                              No Joy

                                                                              Wait To Pleasure

                                                                                We can’t really offer you any dirt on No Joy. They won’t give us any. They won’t give you any either, at least not anything you can use. They’ve been asked the same questions one too many times. “What are your influences?” “What’s it like being a woman in rock music?” You’re not gonna get much out of them outside of their music, which has been exclusively in the domain of Mexican Summer since their debut 7”.Check the record covers – no information, no photos, no inserts. Of course their music does not exist in a void, but it stands to reason that if you’re going to put something out there, you’d best back it up. If you’ve seen No Joy perform, you know that this is not their problem.

                                                                                Wait To Pleasure may not provide you with any new answers, but what it does provide is a batch of incredible new songs, the product of the Montreal noise-pop band’s first foray in a fully-furnished studio environment. Here the band has flourished, delivering their finest set to date, rooted heavily in shoegaze ripcurls and devastating melody, finishing sentences whispered long ago with depth, variance and force. Singer-guitarists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd and drummer Garland Hastings knock down the fence between nostalgia and modernity, chaos and control, in a perfectly-realized effort made to bridge their uncompromised musical pasts with the alarmist tendencies of the present.

                                                                                Spectral Park

                                                                                Spectral Park

                                                                                  We bring you Spectral Park’s debut full-length under the auspices of pop brainchild Luke Donovan, who played all of the music (and records) on the record. These are songs borne from the trash, literally sourced from a box of records the Southampton multi-instrumentalist found on a walk by a council block’s curbside garbage. Donovan chopped them up and fed them through his sampler, warped, pitch-bent snippets of notes, rhythms and loops spanning disparate portions of musical history. Then he started recording live instrumentation and heavily-treated vocals over them, creating a gritty, noisy, yet wide-eyed dive into manic, ‘60s psychedelia, clear-eyed flower child reveries of reverberation and pop chaos.

                                                                                  Spectral Park is a collection of songs that serve as reflections of a fractured year full of joys and sadness, a jumble sale of ideas and moments that work together, dancing and exploding off of one another. These songs lunge off the record, bursting with breakneck tempos and infectious, soaring melodies, sounding as if they are ready to shatter under all of the energy rattling inside. Moreover, they offer a unique and exciting view into a reconstructed musical past, one that brings bygone eras of mind expansion and infinite human potential back within reach.

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  1. L'appel Du Vide
                                                                                  2. Ornaments
                                                                                  3. Nausea
                                                                                  4. Lows
                                                                                  5. Colours
                                                                                  6. Shells
                                                                                  7. Filler #54
                                                                                  8. Still
                                                                                  9. Cut
                                                                                  10. Get You Gone
                                                                                  11. The Thief's Journal
                                                                                  12. Generation Loss

                                                                                  The Soft Pack

                                                                                  Strapped - Bonus Disc Edition

                                                                                  Both formats include a free CD bonus disc "Unstrapped", featuring 4 tracks.

                                                                                  The Soft Pack are back with 'Strapped', an adventurous album that finds the Los Angeles-based foursome breaking with expectations and exploring the possibilities of how they can push their sound. In making it, the group took to heart a quote from the sage Pasadena thinker David Lee Roth that goes something like: “The first rule of rock & roll is if it sounds good, it is good.”

                                                                                  The Soft Pack’s history begins in 2007 when Matt Lamkin (guitar/lead vocals) and Matty McLoughlin (lead guitar) started a band in their native San Diego. By the following year they’d added David Lantzman (bass) and Brian Hill (drums). The four of them soon moved up to LA, went on a bunch of tours, and coalesced into The Soft Pack.

                                                                                  Following the two and a half straight years of touring that came both before and after 2010’s self-titled release on Heavenly Recordings (Kemado Records in the US), the band were burnt out but determined to take control of their future. They decided to self-produce their follow-up, which will be released by Kemado’s sister label Mexican Summer. During the previous sessions for their self-titled album they developed 12 songs and recorded all of them - 10 of them made it to the album, the other two became B-sides. In contrast, while making Strapped they created 80 demo ideas, recorded 30 full songs, and then picked their 12 favourite ones for the album, no matter how far out they were.

                                                                                  The group also took their time while making Strapped, making it over the course of two years. This pace allowed them to integrate new ideas and approaches into their existing sound. The Soft Pack’s pop rock foundations are undeniably still present - nine of the songs don’t break three minutes and from the first seconds of glorious album opener “Saratoga” it’s obvious they haven’t abandoned the fuzz. That said, they’ve also spent a lot of time listening to Denim, Momus, The Church, YAZ, Grace Jones, INXS, Carole King, Lee Hazelwood, The Byrds, and Elton John. “Bobby Brown” is an icy new wave number, whose saxophone solo is just one of several horn appearances on Strapped. For “Head on Ice,” they layer on the dark atmospherics and capture a spiraling sense of doom. Maybe the most surprising cut on Strapped is album closer “Captain Ace,” a jubilant space cruiser that jams out to nearly the seven-minute mark…. Enjoy the ride!

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  1. Saratoga
                                                                                  2. Second Look
                                                                                  3. They Say
                                                                                  4. Tallboy
                                                                                  5. Bobby Brown
                                                                                  6. Chinatown
                                                                                  7. Ray’s Mistake
                                                                                  8. Oxford Ave.
                                                                                  9. Everything I Know
                                                                                  10. Head On Ice
                                                                                  11. Bound To Fall
                                                                                  12. Captain Ace

                                                                                  Bonus Disc Tracklisting:
                                                                                  1. Cruisin' Bruce
                                                                                  2. Densmore's Gone
                                                                                  3. Haven't Got The Means
                                                                                  4. You're Fine

                                                                                  Dispossession is the second full length from Brooklyn’s Mike Wexler, and his debut for Mexican Summer. An artist who defies easy categorization—a songwriter/guitarist without a traditionalist bone in his body, with an ear for far flung sound-worlds and sonic atmospheres both high & low, Wexler brings all of his manifold interests to bear in carving out a space for a singular vision uniquely attuned to the present moment. Dispossession is the product of over two years of intermittent recording. It features players from the worlds of underground rock (ex members of White Magic and The Occasion), free improvisation (Ryan Sawyer, Nate Wooley, Jessica Pavone), synth and string textures inspired by the likes of Eliane Radigue and the Spectralists, a vocal and lyrical presence of unsettling, near-subliminal depth, and the omnipresent backbone of fingerstyle guitar, without a trace of “Americana” to be heard. The basic band tracks were recorded live, at more or less the moment when the arrangements first crystallized, so there’s a bedrock of spontaneity and a free feeling to the proceedings, complicated by the highly mapped-out nature of the subsequent orchestration, synth washes and overdubs. It’s a record that fits the broken mold of auteurist songwriters who nod to the ideas of forward looking writers and artists in their work, a loose lineage that could include musicians like Robert Wyatt, Scott Walker, or Richard Youngs.

                                                                                  A few words about the title: Dispossession, a word that has a foothold in both the spiritual and material worlds. A rite of exorcism, a casting out of spirits; but also a state of extreme economic marginalization, of being set adrift in the world with nowhere or nothing of one’s own. In mythic terms, humans are the dispossessed—this tribe cast out of an edenic paradise. And in another cosmology, to live in accord with the truth is to acknowledge that ultimately nothing is ours. Back in the here and now it’s a state much of the world is in, and one the rest of it may be headed for, barring we find a way to cast the “demons” out.

                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                  1. Pariah
                                                                                  2. Spectrum
                                                                                  3. Lens
                                                                                  4. The Trace
                                                                                  5. Prime
                                                                                  6. Glyph
                                                                                  7. Liminal

                                                                                  Pink Playground

                                                                                  Destination Ecstasy

                                                                                  From Houston, TX comes Pink Playground, a new band that makes videos instead of playing live, and runs in the tradition of shoegaze and ethereal sounds right back to the earliest Jesus and Mary Chain demos. Guitars, synths, otherworldly vocals and drum machines collude to the proto-noise pop moment of the mid ’80s, and charges forth as if the band’s members were born to play in that vein. Ear-splitting volume and spun sugar melodies fill the space with pink pollen blizzard dynamics so thick and hazy you might need a dust mask to power through them, songs so sweet that they sting, manners inverted into a new form of aggression.

                                                                                  Quilt

                                                                                  Quilt

                                                                                    Listening to their self-titled debut, it's no surprise that the members of Quilt came together out of a shared love of visual art. While their music is steeped in timeless qualities like the gorgeous harmonies on "Milo" or the twinkling guitar on "Utopian Canyon," the entire record is full of expansive, cinematic moments. Each song can be enjoyed independently, but taken as a whole, the record becomes a world of its own: guitars drift languidly, keys sparkle in and out, often following their own threads into the stratosphere, with vocals that are at once powerful and intimate.

                                                                                    Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch

                                                                                    Andrew Graham's Good Word

                                                                                    Graham's first release since the dissolution of RTFO Bandwagon, the elegantly primitive Columbus, OH folk band that most recently released "Dums Will Survive" (March 2009) on Texas' Dull Knife Records. While RTFO Bandwagon heavily reiterated the elements already present in Graham's guitar frameworks with the bass, drums, and even the vocal melodies, Swarming Branch takes a more delicate approach. Throughout "Good Word", each instrument plays only one note at a time, freeing up space in the mix and ensuring that every note is intentional.

                                                                                    To realize this detailed new sound, Graham brought in drummer Ryan Jewell (Terribly Empty Pockets, Pink Reason, Psychedelic Horseshit) and piano wizard Dane Terry. A number of other musicians come and go over the course of the record, including bassist Chris Burney (the Sun) and experimental composer Larry Marotta on slide guitar.

                                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                                    Side A:
                                                                                    I Stole The Lime
                                                                                    Seasonal Delicacies
                                                                                    Red Light Green Light Is A Game For Schoolchildren And I Can't Believe We're Playing It Still
                                                                                    Meatloaf At The Steakhouse
                                                                                    A Little Bit On The Way Out

                                                                                    Side B:
                                                                                    A Little Bit On The Way In
                                                                                    Take It Easy On Kathy At Least She Can Dance
                                                                                    The Grindstone Kid
                                                                                    Fenwick Island Update


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